Fresh, sexy, tragic, lovely.
My first encounter with this book - you guessed it - was seeing it sitting on the close-to-the-front table at Waterstones, glittering under the lights. Glittering. Shiny. Attractive. Calling to me. I went over to it and picked it up (refrained from smelling it, because after all I was in public), and tried to work out its title. It's true that you should never, ever, ever judge a book by its cover.
But in this case that was hard to do. The shiny blue metallic cover was enough to get me over to its sharp-edged stack on the table, and then the title was enough to get me to pick up the top copy. When God Was A Rabbit? A rabbit? God? A rabbit? This title was absurd. And delightful. It was enough to get me to read the acknowledgements, the last few pages - tips on Winman's writing life - and the first few pages.
And so then I put it down and put it in my Christmas/Birthday list - there are only four days in between.
And behold, I have finished it after a week of crammed train commute and completely ignoring my colleagues at lunchbreak (sorry, guys).
I enjoyed every moment of it. All told from Elly's perspective, we get her take on her brother and her quirky family, in a kind of slice-of-life sense, from childhood to adulthood. It is a beautiful story - the plot of which I won't give away because it really is structured like an onion (like all good stories) and to give you an inner layer before letting you get to the outter layer is just wrong.
Like I said last week, it does stir thoroughly. You could take this on holiday, when you have endless hours of nothing-but-relaxation to fill, or you can read it surreptitiously at work (sorry, again, sorry) but either way you will be glad you did.
This really is a story that stays with you.
Sarah Winman: once actor, now author.
Thank you, Sarah Winman, if you're out there and have time to read this little blog - thank you for this book that is such a pleasure to read.
Happy Sunday, everybody.